It’s 8 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles, and the 16 people in the jury box at the Edward R. Roybal federal courthouse are watching a film of two women smearing themselves with feces. At least some of them are watching, anyway. One woman is focused intently on wrapping and unwrapping a tendril of hair around her finger. Another, a 40-something woman with a Carol Brady flip, stares poker-faced at the screen. Most of the men just look away.
Across the room, Ira Isaacs, the 61-year-old producer of the film, which is titled Hollywood Scat Amateurs #10, bobs his head along with the music in the opening credits.
In the video, Isaacs speaks to the women from off-camera. “Not so bad after a while, is it?” he says as he hands one a dark spoonful. The women giggle like kids playing with finger paint—as though they can’t quite believe someone, somewhere is getting off on this.
But despite the laughter, the women can’t stifle a gag here and there. One balks at the spoon and shakes her head. That’s more reaction than the jury, now in its second day of screening films, is able to muster. As she ultimately takes the spoon and puts it in her mouth, no one in the jury box bats an eye.